Heavy Metal front man ramps up industry loading awareness

Date: 15 June 2011

A brand new safety film, highlighting the importance of loading aircraft safely and accurately, has just been launched as part of a joint initiative by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the UK aviation industry. Safety in the Balance is presented by Astraeus Airlines Captain, and legendary Iron Maiden front man, Bruce Dickinson.

The film is aimed at airlines, ground handling agents and other industry organisations, and is being made available on DVD and also online at www.caa.co.uk/ghost, . It was commissioned by the Ground Handling Operations Safety Team (GHOST), a CAA/Industry group committed to developing strategies to reduce the safety risks from aircraft ground handling and ground support activities.

Kirsten Riensema, Chair of GHOST, said: “Loading errors account for a significant number of safety incidents reported to the CAA. We hope that everyone who watches the video will gain an understanding of why it is so important that aircraft must be loaded according to a plan, both for cargo and passengers. Any changes to the load must be reported to the appropriate person and all loads must be restrained.”

Filmed at a number of airport locations and using as many aircraft types as possible, this production is intended to compliment, rather than replace, formal training. Although aimed primarily at new and existing ramp personnel, organisations are advised to make the video required viewing for, amongst others, dispatch personnel; local and centralised load planners; airline and agent representatives; cargo warehouse employees; commercial departments; airline management; and of course flight deck and cabin crew.

GHOST were keen to pay tribute to everyone involved in the DVD and in particular Bruce Dickinson, for finding time in his busy schedule to assist. In addition to his line flying activities with Astraeus Airlines, Bruce is also a qualified Crew Resource Management Instructor and is therefore genuinely qualified to present the video.

Jason Sandever, the CAA’s Aircraft Loading Inspector, an ex-Loadmaster and focal point of the project, added: “As well as the benefit that the DVD will bring to everyone involved in the loading process, the project achieved something else that is arguably as valuable: it brought many people from different organisations to work together, and in many cases forged some strong working relationships which will hopefully continue. This is of course vital as the industry strives to improve safety standards.”

DVD copies of Safety in the Balance are available from jason.sandever@caa.co.uk .

For further media information contact the CAA Press Office on: 0207 453 6030 or press.office@caa.co.uk
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Notes to Editors:

1. Safety in the Balance was filmed and produced by tutors and students of Exeter College’s Media Centre. It was filmed on location at UK Airports including London Heathrow and East Midlands and also at Oxford Aviation’s Crawley-based simulator.

2. The Ground Handling Operations Safety Team (GHOST) aims to work with the UK aviation industry, organisations and groups worldwide to develop strategies to mitigate the safety risks from ground handling and ground support activities in the UK and elsewhere. Members of the team are drawn from all major UK airlines and airport operators.

3. The CAA is the UK's specialist aviation regulator. Its activities include: making sure that the aviation industry meets the highest technical and operational safety standards; preventing holidaymakers from being stranded abroad or losing money because of tour operator insolvency; planning and regulating all UK airspace; and regulating airports, air traffic services and airlines and providing advice on aviation policy from an economic standpoint.